Monday, December 5, 2011

When People and Money Collide

This is not a typical topic I usually cover but I will make an exception. So many in our community are talking about the Occupy Wall Street groups and many LGBT people are just as hurting if not more by the current economy. So here are a few thoughts.

I don't believe any one group bear complete blame for the situation we are in. It is a culture of greed that has brought us all to this point. In that 100% of us are responsible.

Banks, corporations, and stock markets all answer to their investors and stockholders. How many of us take the time to invest our own stocks, attend stockholder meetings, review our banks policies, or even demand accountability of corporations?  Do you buy gasoline that has jumped 20 cents in an hour even though its the same gas sitting the tanks? Do you follow important votes? The system works both ways. If we can not invest the time to keep things ethical then we are just as much to blame.

Its not my goal to point fingers. There are plenty of places to draw attention. I find it more helpful to offer solutions. Hopefully some of you have some as well.

How can we repair decades of greed and neglect? I think the issue is putting people once again in the forefront. In the rush for the almighty Dollar, Euro, Yen...we have forgotten the goal of all business is to serve people. And when it some down to it efficiency is not a mantra to hold when dealing with people. We are not machines and cattle to be herded through a coral.

People take time. They need respect and dignity in all situations. Above all people are essential for business to succeed. So what exactly am I saying here?

First of all demand and give service. I don't mean "Hello! May I help you?" We have over time removed many jobs from our society in an effort to streamline and be more efficient. Some may have called it cost cutting or downsizing but the fact is jobs have been removed and few have replaced them.

How many full service gas stations still exist? Do all buildings still have doormen, shoe shine stands, news stands? Do department stores still have lunch counters or greeters? When you go to movie theatre's are there still attendants to seat you? Do police officers still patrol your neighborhoods on foot or do they drive by in cars?

When we remove all the services from society to cut costs are we really saving money or are we removing another person from that economy? Some might say we are saving money to create better jobs. But if you remove 20 to create 2 then you have left 18 people out in the cold. Its not about efficiency. It never has been. Demand service and return people to importance.

Ethics in a system of greed are usually the last thing to be focused on. Maybe we need to revive personal ethics and honor as being higher than making money. If that means your retirement account has to be invested by you, you have to vote for less profit, or pay a few pennies more for something then do so.

If you have a broker or a retirement/investment account find out how they handle things and hold them accountable. Attend bank meetings or correspond with with them and let them know what you think of their policies. Hold corporations and business' accountable for their actions, political funding, and most importantly prices. Demand the attention of your politicians. Keep an eye on how they act or vote on issues. Don't be apathetic and believe you can not change the system. It may seem like an uphill battle but you can overcome.

Finally return to charity. People need help and not enough business' or the wealthy give back to communities. The success of any society rely's upon giving others an opportunity to achieve and succeed. Everyone deserves a chance. Give generously of both time and money. If you as an individual, business, or government official have the means then lift people up. It only takes a little to start most people down a path of self reliance and prosperity. One must give to receive.

Well my fellow readers these are not all the answers but it is a start. What do you all think?

Love is Never Wrong

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